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Digging a Hole

I haven't reached the bottom yet, or found
that succulent sassafras taproot that makes
the curious tea I'm thinking
of. The hole is sinking
though—my shovel occasionally breaks
a strange dark root with a tearing sound

and I look to see what's there. It's never the one.
The dirt flies out as I do my work,
or , whichever it may
be. An errant ray
of sun touches the earth, once dark.
I keep working, wondering when I'll be done.

The day moves on around me, my foolish task
goes on, deeper into soil
now laced with stone. I bring
the mattock down to sing
through sweaty air—I curse the toil
but do not stop. There are questions I don't ask.

I stand inside the hole as dark comes on,
as if the moon might help me find
something I have missed.
A languid haze of mist
rises from my breath—the moon is blind—
I fall into the dirt and dream of Avalon.

Tomfoolery33 9 July 10
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2 comments

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1

Found my older brother digging in the woods one day when we were children. I was curious why he was digging a hole. What was his purpose, what was he looking for. Was he constructing some thing or was there something in there? To him digging the hole was the goal. The effort itself. That was his Avalon. 60 years later he is still that way. I had to look up mattock. I had a pretty good idea what it was, just wanted to clarify. Maybe thats what poetry does.

Lincoln55 Level 8 July 10, 2018
1

Reminds me of hunting for rams head mushrooms on oak trees in the forest. Good write

azzow2 Level 9 July 10, 2018

Thanks.